On World poetry day lyricist Irshad Kamil talks about The Ink Band, where poetry meets music

Updated: Mar 21, 2018, 10:42 IST | Soumya Vajpayee Tiwari | Mumbai

On World Poetry Day, lyricist Irshad Kamil talks about The Ink Band, a one-of-a-kind initiative where poetry meets music

(From left) Angel Roman, Ragini Shankar, Irshad Kamil, Ankush A Boradkar and Deepanshu Pandit. pic/atul kamble
(From left) Angel Roman, Ragini Shankar, Irshad Kamil, Ankush A Boradkar and Deepanshu Pandit. Pic/atul kamble

Each time you interact with Irshad Kamil, the erudite discussions ensure that you add at least five new Hindi/Urdu terms to your word bank. His love for poetry and language is evident, and the enthusiasm to contribute towards the betterment of the art, perceptible. When we decide to catch up with the lyricist, known for penning the songs of Bollywood films like Rockstar (2011), Love Aaj Kal (2009), Raanjhanaa (2013), Highway (2014), Sultan (2016) and Jab Harry Met Sejal (2017), at the Bandra Fort, we are surprised to spot him walk in with four young musicians.

Ankush A Boradkar (flautist, keyboardist), Deepanshu Pandit (singer), Angel Roman (composer, guitarist), Ragini Shankar (violinist) and Prajakta Shukre (singer; absent on the day) along with Kamil form The Ink Band. "It's for all language lovers. Typically, bands are synonymous with music, but ours is a poetry band, which firmly believes in words more than beats. It's a long and hard-earned search for me," says Kamil, as he opens up about the initiative on World Poetry Day.

The Ink Band fuses poetry recitation with music, garnished with a little bit of singing. The idea of coming up with it germinated from the need to give poetry and good writing its due credit, says Kamil. "If I had to put it in a beautiful and made-up way, I'd say that it's a dream come true. But, that's not true. Do you know what exists on the other end of an undying dream? A no-bounds frustrated rebel. Language is my eternal beloved, an integral part of who I am. Being a lyricist, I'm always trying to find new meaning in language. Yet the paradox remains that language is slowly losing its meaning. So, this band did not germinate from an idea, but from a need... A pressing need to bring language to its full bloom."

Kamil's six-member outfit has been touring informally for over two years. But the decision of giving it a formal identity fructified recently. "We have been performing live since 2015. After my poetry book, Ek Maheena Nazmon Ka, got an astounding response, it led to an organic culmination in the form of this band. We want to travel to different cities to fulfil our purpose," says the lyricist. The band will release a new episode, titled The Ink Band Original, every week on Kamil's YouTube channel and social media handles. The first poem, Vo Ladki, releases today.

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